Only Jesus Remains– 24.Dangerous Christmas

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas

In this different season (where Jesus wants to reveal Himself more, which will help you thrive as never before), there also are dangers. One of these is the danger of distraction. Long lists of to-dos may seek to press in anyway.  You know. That long list of tasks always hovering in the background, threatening to invade and take over the choice for inner calm—the conscious, brazen choice to simply be and let God speak to you in your interior places. Those moments of indescribably, exquisite richness stolen from you. To have that which God wants to give you in this different and hard place grabbed and whisked away. Lists will never be done. For most of us, we eventually die and the lists with their incompleteness and undone-ness are still there.

To be list-driven can help days to be more organized. It can ensure that the lesser priorities do not overwhelm and overtake the greater ones.  But these lists themselves do present their own danger. When the lists become too cemented as have-tos then there is no more room for the Holy Spirit’s work. To be open to, listen for and hear His plan.  To move with His impromptu nudges because you are committed to making His priorities your own.

 When caught up in the busy-ness and satisfaction of checking off tasks, it also sometimes can be a way to make excuses. To make it okay to walk away from God’s call to inner quiet time with Him where He can work on your hurting heart through new partial revelations. When you are  fixed on a list which determines your tasks, instead of being with God, it diminishes your ability to hear, be aware of and soak in treasures from the Holy Spirit, which come most often in heart-whispers. You will miss the Gift!

This dangerous distractedness includes worry. It encompasses anxiety where you are pulled from inner calm into a relentless spinning.

To help quiet your thoughts and come back into His peace where you can listen and eventually hear, re-orient your thoughts back to God.  Instead of trying to stop thinking, change what you are thinking about.

Read and reflect on the Word of God. It can be a single sentence of one verse! Listen to one of the songs, which are musical prayers, and don’t let it just play in the background. Engage with it. Let the song come to the forefront of your attention. Let the melody and rhythm wash over you. Let the words become your prayer. Listen again. Then again and until it is your own.  

Fill yourself with thoughts of Him which will silence the mind’s former compulsive habit to drive after lesser, busy things. Now listen for His plans for your day. Especially for the next moment. Now that you have paused to worship (and adore Him) and you have prayed with a listening heart, go forth in His peace and obey. His…list…is…better. He knows what on yours can remain undone today so you can do His.

Some days I am undone. Yet Your peace is there waiting to fill my heart, mind, soul and body if I will come to rest in You.  Here is my heart. Here are my lists! Fill me with more of who You are and lead me in Your way moment-by-moment. You are Shepherd. I long to follow and be an useful, well-used instrument of Your love, just, mighty, perfect will.

38 Now while they were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house.

39 And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching.

40 But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]!

41 But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things;

42 There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:38-41

22 Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?

23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].

24 So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them [obeying them] will be like a sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock.

Matthew 7:22-24

SONG Recommended: YET FROM THE MANGER BEDSo You Sent Your Son album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

DANGEROUS CHRISTMAS PODCAST

If you are just joining in these reflections, read the Introduction here to learn what these are all about.

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Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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